Steven Osborne is one of Britain’s most treasured musicians whose insightful and idiomatic interpretations of diverse repertoire show an immense musical depth. His numerous awards include The Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist of the Year, two BBC Music Magazine Awards and two Gramophone Awards. His residences at London’s Wigmore Hall, Antwerp’s deSingel, the Bath International Music Festival, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra are a testament to the respect he commands.
Described by The Observer as “always a player in absolute service to the composer”, Steven Osborne’s 32 recordings on Hyperion have won multiple awards. His two 2021 releases, Prokofiev’s War Sonatas, and French works for piano duet with Paul Lewis, were both shortlisted for a Gramophone Award.
Steven Osborne’s recitals are publicly and critically acclaimed without exception, and his 22/23 programmes revisit his recent recording repertoire of Beethoven and Rachmaninov interspersed with his own improvisations and another of his much-admired composers, Schubert. Osborne has performed at many of the world’s prestigious venues including the Wiener Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Kennedy Center Washington and is a regular guest at both Lincoln Center and Wigmore Hall.
Concerto performances take Steven Osborne to major orchestras all over the world including recent visits to the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Radio Symphonieorchester Wien, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish National Radio, London Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Aspen Music Festival and Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center with repertoire ranging from Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Ravel, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and Messiaen through to Tippett, Britten and Julian Anderson who dedicated his 2017 Piano Concerto to Steven. The 22/23 season sees him return to the London Philharmonic Orchestra to perform the Tippett Piano Concerto with Ed Gardner and performances with the Stuttgart Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, West Australian Symphony, Adelaide Symphony and the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo.
Recording plans continue with his 33rd release for Hyperion in autumn 2022, the next instalment in his survey of solo works by Debussy. A label artist since 1998, his recordings have accumulated numerous awards in the UK, France, Germany and the USA including two Gramophone Awards, three Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik Awards and a Choc in Classica Magazine in addition to a clutch of Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and Recordings of the Year from The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times and The Sunday Times. His recordings span a wide range of repertoire including Beethoven, Schubert, Debussy, Ravel, Liszt, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Medtner, Messiaen, Britten, Tippett, Crumb and Feldman.
Steven Osborne won first prize at the prestigious Clara Haskil Competition (1991) and the Naumburg International Competition (1997). Born in Scotland he studied with Richard Beauchamp at St. Mary's Music School in Edinburgh and Renna Kellaway at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He is Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Patron of the Lammermuir Festival and in 2014 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to music in the 2022 Queen’s New Year Honours.
“This recording [Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas] contains the full dynamic range of Osborne’s playing without compressing or distancing for safety. The volatility and dangerous edge to it comes through undiminished. This is Beethoven with no safety net, thrillingly alive. The cover – Rodin’s Hand of God - seems the perfect fit for the music and the musicianship.” BBC Radio 3 Record Review, Disc of the Week, 18 May 2019
Some pianists gild everything they touch with their own personality; some are like chameleons, finding a new colour for each composer. Last night the wonderful Scottish pianist Steven Osborne did both, which lent the whole evening a miraculous air…every note seemed to vibrate with intelligence.